For more than half its existence as a discrete though intensely varied musical form, jazz lacked a scholarly literature. Periodicals ruled the roost. In the USA Metronome, founded in 1881, and Downbeat, first published in 1936, dominated, reviewing records, profiling leading instrumentalists and chronicling music industry gossip.
For many years now the letters written by Austen and Neville Chamberlain to their spinster sisters, Ida and Hilda, have been recognised as an invaluable source for students of British political history from the middle of the First World War to the beginning of the Second. The superb editions produced by Robert Self have now made them widely available.
Celebrity is becoming a hot topic for academics of all kinds, witnessed by the launch of the journal Celebrity Studies earlier this year.
Issues related to homosexuality are currently at the forefront of public discourse. Globally, but particularly in the United States, marriage equity, military service, queer youth and bullying are not just matters of policy debate, but have engaged popular concern and action as well.
During the second half of the 20th century, scandals arising from abuses suffered by some children in residential care in the UK encouraged the uncovering of the experiences of looked-after children in the past.
James Dickerson should be commended for tracing the theme of American concentration camps through from the 17th to the 21st century. It is all too easy to slip into the comfortable approach of examining events in isolation, when they are in fact but one more example of how a nation has failed to learn from the mistakes of its past.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers has been in existence for a decade. The version under review includes runs of 30 newspapers, predominantly from the United States, spanning the years 1764–2005 and totalling some 27 million pages.
The thesis and value of Andrew Elliott’s new study of ‘medieval film’ are neatly encapsulated by his reminding us at the end of the book’s preface that, in the medieval tradition, the Grail quest involved asking, not answering, the right questions.
One could perhaps argue that, so far as the popular academic imagination is concerned, America has never had much of a reputation so far as historical theory goes.